Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of English

Content Description

1 online resource (v, 233 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Tom Cohen

Committee Members

Helen Regueiro Elam, Charles Shepherdson


Delta, Faulkner, Hitchcock, the feminine, the immanent exteriority, vacant center, Women in literature, Women in motion pictures

Subject Categories

American Literature | Ethics and Political Philosophy | Women's Studies


Lacan, as a post-structuralist, combined Saussure's linguistics with Freud's psychology and linked Derrida's notion of "the other" to his notion of "objet petit a" as the impossible object of the subject's phallic desire, in order to re-think the modern consciousness of "the self." In the Lacanian account, "the other" does not exist as the 'absolute' transcendental without involvement, but ex-sists as the traumatic and 'extimate' exteriority with-in "the self." The ex-centric other is epitomized by the iconic (inverted) triangular center of Lacan's Borromean Knot. As the immanent exteriority of both the subject and the Symbolic, the feminine (w)hole, resembling vaginal entry, is where the subject's phallic fantasy and the symbolic representation system fail. With regard to the paradox of the non-All, it is associated with Lacan's notion of woman. In the triangular vacant center, woman dwells as the irreducible excess surpassing the phallus and as the 'ek-static' site of the subject's being; she embodies the central space open to "the other," in which the feminine ethics to transgress and traverse ego boundaries occurs. In this project, I call her "Delta," to emphasize its association with overflowing water and its cognate relation with the Hebrew letter "Dalet" which signifies "openness" and "selflessness."